Responding to criticism of the film American Sniper, Fox Business host Charles Payne said we invaded Iraq to save the planet from poverty.
PAYNE: Look at the death toll that we had protecting people in a different country, because that’s what America does.
We’ve been the world’s policemen and guess what’s happened over the time we’ve become the world’s policemen — a billion people in other countries have moved into the middle class. We had India on TV earlier and if it wasn’t for Americans dying around the world, the rest of the world would be in abject poverty.
We have saved the planet and if we go in as America’s policeman it’s going to be hell to pay for everybody.
It must be news to the Indian people that they were lifted out of poverty by our actions as the world’s policemen.
It must be news to the billions of people around the world, including millions in India, who still live in poverty that they’ve been lifted up into the middle class by our actions. It must also be news to millions of Americans living in poverty that we spent trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan so they could be lifted up into the middle class by our trickle-down invasion of a country that didn’t attack us.
There are so many reasons why this is one of the most ridiculous things ever said by a pundit it’s hard to determine where to begin.
Die-hard supporters of our invasion of Iraq insist to this day that Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) were there. Even the senator who delivered the official Republican response to the 2015 State of the Union address believes in WMDs. But according to Charles Payne, we invaded Iraq to lift people out of poverty.
Can we invade Mississippi and lift its people out of poverty?
I jest, of course, because killing thousands of people, igniting sectarian conflicts, and decimating local infrastructure is a peculiar way of lifting people out of poverty. And this strategy of ours somehow, through osmosis, lifts people out of poverty in other countries that we have little to no influence over.
I have not seen American Sniper so I cannot comment on the film itself, but it seems to me that conservatives have responded to criticism of the film by beatifying Chris Kyle and by, quite simply, making shit up. The irony is that one common criticism of the Chris Kyle story is that significant portions of it are made up.
This is delusional jingoism, not patriotism.